Snowy Range: Mirror Lake & Lookout Lake Trail


Just a short distance down the road from Lake Marie, there’s another parking area that offers access to two more lakes.  Lookout Lake is a long, narrow lake, directly below the cliffs, while Mirror Lake is closer to the road.

In fact, you get a great view of Mirror Lake (above), without even getting out of your car.  The side road that connects to the parking area runs right alongside the lake.  Take a picture out the window — there aren’t many parking spaces along the road, until you get to the picnic area at the end.

Before I started on the Lookout Lake Trail, I checked out the rocky area just north of the parking area.  From here, you get a great view of The Diamond (it’s easier to see its diamond shape from this angle) and Schoolhouse Rock.  Lake Marie is just out of sight, beyond the trees on the lower left side of the picture.

Here’s the view to the north.  Lookout Lake is just below those mountains.

I found the Lookout Lake trailhead.  From here, Lookout Lake is 1/3 mile, Trail 295 (the trail to Medicine Bow Peak) is 1.8 miles, Medicine Bow Peak is 2.7 miles, and Lewis Lake Trailhead is also 2.7 miles (you can also access Lewis Lake via road, east of Libby Flats).  Since I had already done a fair amount of hiking at Lake Marie, and since the elevation was still wreaking havoc with my head, I decided I’d just take a short hike to the edge of Lookout Lake, then turn around.

Lookout Lake can’t be seen at the start of the trail… but eventually…

… it appears, on the other side of some huge boulders that were, no doubt, scooped up and deposited by a glacier, countless years ago.  I didn’t hike far enough to find out if the trail ever meets the edge of the lake, or if it remains separate the entire way.  I was satisfied with this spot, especially since the clouds were beginning to break up nicely.

Okay, the blue skies were hit and miss, as the clouds raced by overhead.  The Diamond certainly looks menacing, doesn’t it?

Note: This trip was first published in 2008.

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